As surface water supplies fade away and diesel costs continue to climb, growers with access to well water shouldn’t take that blessing lightly.

“With declining groundwater levels and the increased dependence on pumping it is imperative to get your well checked to make sure you are at top efficiency,” says Blake Sanden, another Kern County UCCE farm advisor. “There are substantial grants available to help. The Center for Irrigation Technology at California State University, Fresno, administers millions of dollars in free pump testing payments and substantial well repair/maintenance cost share in cooperation with the California Energy Commission and other power companies.”

Additional details can be accessed at: www.pumpefficiency.org/

Pump efficiency tests are available to any eligible agricultural or water agency customer with a Southern California Edison (SCE) electric service account. Interested growers should contact the SCE Hydraulic Services center in their area. The same is offered by Pacific Gas and Electric.

There is no charge for a standard pump test. The pump must be running during the test and should be running at a normal operating condition. The irrigation system should be functioning at its normal flow and pressure.

A copy of the field test and calculations will be available at the completion of the test. A test report with recommendations and any other paperwork will generally be available within two weeks. For more information about SCE’s/CSUF’s pump test program, call 800-845-6038.